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European outflow spree spreads to government bonds

European equities are now on their longest net outflows streak since 2012. But it is not just equity funds that are being sold off. Bond funds are also under increasing pressure.

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PA Europe

European equity funds saw net outflows of €4.5bn in October with, as usual, actively managed funds taking the biggest hit. Year-to-date, investors have taken out a net €70.4bn from European equities, with €56.9bn of that coming from actively managed funds. UK equity funds were particularly hard hit, seeing their highest net outflows since March 2015 and accounting for more than half of total net outflows from European equities.

But European investors are not selling just equities. The sell-off has spread to Eurozone government bonds, which saw their highest net outflows since June 2015: €2.4bn. While European equities and bonds were sold off, their emerging market equivalents continued to see net inflows. Emerging market equities were the best-selling asset class in October, seeing €3.7bn in net inflows.

The figures are consistent with asset allocation sentiment data gathered by Expert Investor recently. These data show appetite for government bonds is almost non-existent and demand for European equities is cooling down. By contrast, emerging market equities and bonds are in vogue.

It remains, however, to be seen whether the election of Donald Trump will also disrupt these fund flows trends. Preliminary data have already suggested emerging markets have been hit by outflows since 9 November. Expert Investor will keep monitoring developments closely. 

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